This has been on my list to tackle for MONTHS but I really had to be specific on what exactly today’s blog post would be about. From the title, most horror fans would get it but for the average Joe, interdimensional (or multi-dimensional) horror to me is a very niche sub-genre in horror. I would describe it as horror taking place in our world plus a world not seen to the naked eye. But the other world is a critical part of the story so I wanted to throw out some suggestions of some of my personal favorites.
This sub-genre isn’t too full and is far and between but I hope other directors/storytellers dive into this world more often!
Let’s talk about Interdimensional Horror films!
The Void (2016) – This was the film that I immediately thought of when this idea was picked. I have also reviewed this film and you can read about it here but this film is a great mix of Lovecraft horror but grounded. And the special effects (or practical) really drive home how different this otherworld is, especially the creatures.
Hellraiser (1987) – One of the few franchises that is all about the hell (dimension) via the lament configuration. The original has small glimpses of that world, more on the Cenobites coming into ours but with Hellbound: Hellraiser II and later on, we definitely get more in depth of the transformations and pockets of hell.
Phantasm (1979) – This entire franchise is a fever dream. I feel like that’s everyone’s response to Phantasm, it’s very… bizarre. And it gets more bizarre when you get into the sequels. Our main antagonist is The Tall Man who is an interdimensional being and there’s a place where he takes the dead (from his funeral home) and turns them into dwarf slaves. There’s a red planet/dimension shown in the first film… I wish I could describe it better!
Beetlejuice (1988) – A more lighthearted but campy horror look at the afterlife and what else is beyond that. We have the title character, the afterlife, the place where the large sandworms live, and the Maitlands/Deetz’ home as a gateway to both.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – A different take on multi-dimensional horror, we’re talking about the dream world. And how powerful that dream world is to cross over into the real world and have real world consequences.
The Beyond (1981) – A great film in a diverse yet similar trilogy by Lucio Fulci. This is the one most people know of but I don’t think most have seen it. If you’re a cinephile/horror fan, you know The Beyond. This film is about a woman who inherits a hotel in Louisiana (I think) and said hotel is most likely a gateway to hell. Again, the special/practical effects are effective and enhance how scary this film really is and it’s all visual. Visually, it’s terrifying.
From Beyond (1986) – Not to be confused with The Beyond, From Beyond is definitely more campy but still grounded in horror and sci-fi. If you are aware of HP Lovecraft and his works, this is definitely inspired and loosely based off the short story. If you like this, you’ll like Re-Animator as well.
The Cell (2000) – Possibly the most aesthetically looking film in this list and a huge part of that is the costume work of Eiko Ishioka (Mirror Mirror, Bram Stoker’s Dracula) and how it’s impact on screen. The Cell is about using technology to enter the mind of a serial killer who is in a coma and what we see is amazing, beautiful and very dangerous.
Videodrome (1983) – A Cronenberg film, if you know, you know. This film is about media, media consumption, how it affects the mind and the body, how both influence each other. It’s otherworldly and interdimensional in a way of losing oneself in something or having it invade your life and you can only see it/experience it and it changes you. We see it with our lead protagonist Max Renn (played by James Woods) and the insane journey he goes through. Death to Videodrome, long live the new flesh!
Silent Hill (2006) – Based on the video game franchise, the film adaptation is quite interesting. It takes place in an eerie town but there’s clearly some otherworldly influences happening in this town. We are presented with a mother who is going to Silent Hill after her daughter sleepwalks and how she has a huge connection to this town with its many nurses and Pyramid Head who looks very cool.
Here are some awesome “Honorable Mentions” that are definitely worth checking out!
Into the Mouth of Madness (1994)
Event Horizon (1997)
The Mist (2007)
In conclusion, interdimensional horror is a great mix of horror and sci-fi and when it’s done well, we get some great films out of it. If you want something more current and not a film, I think Stranger Things is a great example of this as well.
What other films (or shows) would you add to this list? Leave a comment below!